A Macomb County educator known for being selfless, loving, and caring to her students has been honored with an Excellence In Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Riva Hannish, teaches third and fourth grade at Messmore Elementary. The school is part of Utica Community Schools.
The Michigan Lottery established the Excellence In Education awards in 2014 to recognize outstanding public-school educators across the state during the school year.
Winners of the weekly award receive a $2,000 cash prize. At the end of the school year, one of the weekly award winners will be selected to receive the Lottery’s Educator of the Year award and will receive a $10,000 cash prize.
Each winner also is featured in a news segment on the Lottery’s media partner stations: WXYZ-TV in Detroit, FOX 17 in Grand Rapids, FOX 47 in Lansing, WNEM-TV in Saginaw, and WWTV-TV in Traverse City. The news segment featuring Hannish will air this evening.
Hannish says the opportunity to shape kids’ lives led her to a career in education.
“Teaching offers an opportunity to shape the lives of kids and contribute to their personal and academic growth. I still wake up every day ready to inspire these little people who I love!”
Hannish says fun and engaging activities are her favorite things to do with her students.
“Fun and engaging activities can make the learning experience more enjoyable for students and help them retain information better. I love to sing in the classroom and teach through music. Another fun activity I enjoy doing with students is learning through educational apps such as Blooket or Kahoot. Students love this type of engaging activity.
“For science classes, I love to conduct hands-on experiments or demonstrations that allow students to explore concepts firsthand. I also use role-playing to help students understand historical events, literary characters, or real-life scenarios. This helps enhance empathy and understanding.”
Hannish was nominated for the award by a parent of one of her students.
“Mrs. Riva Hannish wears her heart on her sleeve each and every day for every single one of her current and former students and makes school fun. She has four children of her own, but still checks in on each one of her students daily. She leaves her door open for all her students.
“My daughter and her friends were having some trouble at school, and Mrs. Hannish used her lunch hour two days in a row to sit and eat with the girls and discuss any issues they had and made sure to resolve them. When one of Mrs. Hannish’s students lost her mom, she went out of her way to go to the funeral and had lunch and talked with the student every week to make sure she was ok and to see if she needed anything. She is selfless, loving, and caring to all.”
Hannish earned a bachelor’s degree from Oakland University and a master’s degree from Central Michigan University and Marygrove College. She has been an educator for 17 years, the last 10 years in her current position.
Excellence in Education award nominees are evaluated on the following criteria:
- Excellence – Their work consistently helps students and/or their schools or school districts advance to higher levels of academic achievement.
- Dedication – They consistently go above and beyond expectations to help students succeed.
- Inspiration – Their work inspires others around them to exceed expectations either academically or professionally.
- Leadership – They demonstrate clear leadership skills in their positions with their school or school districts.
- Effectiveness – The nominee’s work has clear and positive results on the educational advancement of students within the school or school district.